Interview With Violen's Jorge Elbrecht

by guestofaguest · June 5, 2008

The ViolensFormed by former members of Lansing-Dreiden in autumn 2007, New York's Violens derives its name from a combination of "violence" and "violins." Jorge Elbrecht (vocals, guitar), Iddo Arad (vocals, synthesizer), Ben Brantley (bass), and Kris King (drums) became a local sensation after playing their first show in October 2007, with many fans comparing them to Philadelphia's Lilys. (The band cites the Zombies, the Byrds, Wire, and the Violent Femmes among their influences.) Violens released their self-titled EP on the Static Recital label in March 2008. Jorge Elbrecht sits down with us just in time...his concert is tonight at Merc Bar.

How does the music scene in New York differ from the scene in Miami, where you grew up? (Is there a difference of how your music is received?) I would say that the main difference is that people are not as accepting/willing to like things here, it's a tougher crowd. You've said you were influenced early on by punk rock and indie. What inspires you now? I find myself drawn to certain moments in songs, things that build tension and then change and really satisfy the listener. its always something I've tried to accomplish and when I hear a song that does that it inspires me tremendously. But also things like a really interesting voice or vision for production.

In what ways has your sound evolved? I think I've become a lot better at recording in the last 2 years and have gained a lot more control over the sound of any music I am producing.

While you often incorporate different music genres into your songs, is there any genre you dislike and/or avoid? To say that we "incorporate different music genres" is really not the best way to describe how we approach songwriting. there are things that happen in black metal, for example, that we like, and things that happen in 90s dance music that we like just as much. We listen to all kinds of music all the time and things just stick out or seem relevant from time to time. We might incorporate something that is happening in a song, and therefore reference the genre, but we don't really think of it as actively incorporating the genre, necessarily, its a bit more organic.

You're playing at the Mercury Lounge in New York tonight. Where is your favorite venue to perform at? (or type of venue) I think Bowery has been our favorite. Lots of attention to detail with the sound there, its great.

In what ways do you think your music speaks to your listeners? Or what would you like your listeners to take from your music? If anyone can be inspired by what we are doing then i think weve done our job. I hope the lyrics come across and the idea of expressing music as a group of friends as well. In general we want our music and shows to be fun and compelling in some way.